My husband and I have cruised many times, and have tried most cruise lines.
We are presently researching a special one to celebrate our 10th anniversary, and weighing the pros and cons of HAL vs other lines.
If HAL is your favourite line, convince me why we should book them again...
My DW likes the room service menu. We both like very few PA announcements. Lots of room in our cheap cabins. Nevrer thought I would care about it, but the promenade decks on HAL that go all the way around are one of my favorite parts of crusing. We both like the movies shown on the cabin TV. I liek the wine polciy, take on however much wine we want. We like that HAL does some offbeat ports on some of the trips.
What is important to us may not be important to you though. Good luck with your decision.
I've been on quite a few HAL ships going back from 1981 (honeymoon cruise) through last year. They are beautifully decorated, including fresh cut flowers in hallways, dining rooms, and public areas. The international staff constantly smiles, are very helpful, and try their best to make our vacation a great one. The food, in both the main restaurants and specialty, is flavorful, varied, and artfully presented. The only drawback is that when one eats in the specialty restaurant (as we tend to do), the menu remains almost the same from ship to ship, year to year. However, if you have a good chef in the specialty restaurant, he may add something new, or change some ingredient in the dish to make it his own. HAL generally tends to attract older (40+) individuals, however, they are somewhat more dressier and more sedate in nature than found on other cruise ships. We have had some problems over the years, but we knew who to contact and when, and with time, these were acknowledged and most of the time were rectified. I have another cruise planned in November and can't wait!
I'll chime in here. I love the Indonesian and Filipino crew. Tops in service.
Also, it is a quiet cruise line and since I like to read alot, it works for me.
The food is wonderful too. Now, the smoking drives me nuts though so if it bothers you too, don't book a verandah. You might have people next to you who smoke alot.
Other than that, it's a wonderful line.
Simple. The best service on any of the cruiselines and beautiful ships that look like "ships" and let you experience the beauty of being on the ocean. If I wanted rockclimbing walls, water slides, or being inside the ship made to look like a busy street or carnival with no views of the ocean I would go to Vegas or Disneyland.
Why do you think we should 'convince' you?
You need to 'convince' yourself through your research. That's your job, not ours.
My DH and I have cruised HAL something like 66 (approx) cruises so clearly we are 'hooked on HAL'. (We've sailed about 15 or so times on other lines (though not for some years now) so it isn't like we haven't tried others.)
7 seas: Hubby and I went on Volendam from NYC to Bermuda in early 80's for honeymoon. They went that extra special mile for us: free honeymooner party with captain wherein we cut our "cake" (and ate it too!), free champagne party with him along with free photos, free flowers and wine in our cabin. We received, as passengers, nice tote bags, "Dutch boy/girl" hats which we donned as we ate free cheese/chocolate from Holland. They gave you nice h'or d'oerves at the bars and was one of the nicer cruise lines (at that time there were plenty not owned by Carnival). We have been back on at least 25/30 more cruises with them ever since and have made friends with many of their staff. We love them.
You, too, have a lot of history with HAL.
What is special is many of the things you mentioned you experienced on your Honeymoon cruise, are still offered on the ships.
The hot hors d'ouerves in the lounges before dinner, the tote bag, Honeymoon/Renew Vows packages, beautiful fresh flowers, receptions with Officers, and the most special are the wonderful Officers and Crew.
I agree with all of the previous posts. Hal is a wonderful experience. Did the Panama Canal in Feb on the Zuierdam and we are doing the 30 day Hawaii and Tahiti this Nov on the Roterdam-----CANT WAIT !!!